Optimal Weight for Life (OWL) Program
Did you know?
The food industry spends $1.6 billion marketing its products to children and adolescents. Of that about 3% is for healthy categories such as bottled water, fruits and vegetables.
Currently, 35% of American children are overweight or obese. Childhood obesity causes type 2 diabetes, sleep apnea, fatty liver, high blood pressure and other serious complications.
Source: "The Impact of Food Marketing on Children," Rudd Center for Food Policy & Obesity.
On an average visit to a fast-food restaurant, teens ordered 800-1,100 calories in a single meal -- half of their recommended daily caloric intake. What's more, nearly one-third of those calories came from saturated fat or sugar.
Source: Rudd Center for Food Policy & Obesity study on fast food restaurants
Consumption of fast food meals, in particular, is associated with higher BMIs and less healthy diets in youth and adults.
Source: Bowman SA, Gortmaker SL, Ebbeling CB, Pereira MA & Ludwig DS (2004). Effects of fast food consumption on energy intake an diet quality among children in a national household survey. Pediatrics, 113, 112-18.
Children ages 8 to 18 spend the following amount of time in front of the screen, daily:
- Approximately 7.5 hours using entertainment media
- Approximately 4.5 hours watching TV
- Approximately 1.5 hours on the computer
- Over an hour playing video games
These data lie in stark contrast to the 12 minutes per day that adolescents engage in vigorous physical activity.
Source: Henry J. Kaiser Foundation, "Generation M2: Media in the Lives of 8-18 Year Olds," January 2010.
Increases in television viewing are associated with increased calorie intake among youth. This association is mediated by increasing consumption of calorie-dense, low-nutrient foods frequently advertised on television.
In fact, the US Department of Agriculture (USDA) has reported that per capita soft-drink consumption has increased by almost 500% over the past 50 years.
Source: Putnam JJ, Allshouse JE. Food consumption, prices, and expenditures, 1970–97. Food and Consumers Economics Division, Economic Research Service, US Department of Agriculture; Washington, DC: 1999.